Nov. 22, 2012
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No. 4 Michigan vs. Pitt, NIT Season Tip-Off, Madison Square Garden, November 21, 2012
No. 4 Michigan 67, Pitt 62
INTERVIEW WITH PITT COACH Jamie Dixon AND PLAYERS James Robinson AND Lamar Patterson
THE MODERATOR: Coach.
COACH DIXON: Congratulations to Michigan. I thought it was a very close game, tight game. Two good teams going at it. The thing that sticks out I think is the rebounding. They out-rebounded us. That's something that doesn't happen, but it did. I think the possessions just added up. More rebounds, more free throws is the thing we want to do. We didn't. We'll learn from it, get better for it. It shows where we're at, things we need to improve on. I thought these two guys played really well. That was good to see. I thought Cameron Wright, Durand Johnson gave us good minutes. We had some foul trouble early, we were able to put some different guys in, so that was good to see. I think they're finding themselves. They're improving. We've gotten better as the year has gone on. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and our next game and getting together and improving.
Q. (No microphone.)
COACH DIXON: He's getting in foul trouble. It's hard to play when you're in foul trouble. He's a big body. I think everybody knows he's got to stay out of foul trouble. That's really what has hurt him the last two games. He'll be fine.
Q. For the two players, Coach Dixon said he wanted to figure out where you're at. Where do you think this team is?
Lamar Patterson: I think we're good. We just have some things we got to work on. They out-rebounded us. We gave up a lot of transition buckets. I feel we're making progress and will be ready to go on Friday.
James Robinson: Just to piggyback, I definitely feel we need to play a lot harder, play tougher. We got out-rebounded and beat in transition tonight. I think those two things we need to work on, especially going into Friday's game.
Q. Coach, what are your initial thoughts on the times you played J.J. at the four? How much more fluid do you think your offense is?
COACH DIXON: It's been good. I think we've done some good things with him there, in the first half especially. We had some good looks because of it. I think it's been good. He's put up good rebounding numbers in the first couple games. We've always had a smaller and a bigger guy at that four spot. It gives us some flexibility. But they out-rebounded us by 11, so it's a group effort.
Q. Michigan's fan base traveled well to this game. Was it tough to combat that energy they provided throughout the game?
Lamar Patterson: Not really. I wasn't focusing on the crowd. I heard our fans focusing on us. It comes down to us, what we have to do on the court.
Q. Lamar, you usually don't need to hear that you need to play harder and tougher. What do you do to get that across before Friday's game?
Lamar Patterson: Just get out there and practice, make sure everyone is going as hard as possible, just bring leadership. That's about it.
Q. James, when Michigan tied it up and then went ahead, how difficult was it to keep trying to stay in there?
James Robinson: Well, once they went up, we knew we had to get in attack mode. I just tried to make the best available play, which was to get to the bucket. In the end, we pretty much just tried to get stops. We put them on the line, they knocked down their free throws down the stretch. But just for me, just trying to play as solid as I could.
Q. Coach, did you think the officials were a little quick with those whistles with those two traps?
COACH DIXON: They're on the other side of the floor. I couldn't see them real well. One thing down the stretch I thought we did a good job, we forced them to make free throws, which they did to their credit. We scored quickly. We took good shots. We didn't force things. Then I thought we put ourselves in pretty good places for opportunities for steals and traps. Didn't quite go our way. You can't be in that position, that's first and foremost. You can't rely on a call. When a team is down, they're looking to trap, there's a pretty good chance there's going to be fouls called. To their credit, they made free throws. If they missed a free throw or two, we would have been in a good situation to make a play. That was one thing down the stretch, we did what we needed to do, use the time-outs. The zone worked for us a couple times. James did a good job of getting to the basket, not settling on forced threes, jump shots. I thought that was key for us, too. We did some good things. At the end of the day, the rebounding, and not getting to the line enough. Thank you.